Am I a sucker?
June 25, 2008 5:26 PM   Subscribe

Am I a sucker or will this actually make me some money?

I work an entry level, boring, cubicle-confined job. I was looking at Craigslist to see if there's anything interesting I can do to make some extra pocket money and I found these sites:

I've seen a lot of these kinds of ads on CL and I can't help but be curious. Are they scams? How do they work? I figure if I can make some money while sitting around at my desk or in my free time, it might be worth it. I wouldn't do anything that required a credit card number, obviously. Has anyone else done this?
posted by LiveToEat to Computers & Internet (16 answers total)

If you do hits4pay you have to read email, and it's like 2c an email and they are infrequent and you can't cash out until you hit 25.00. That will take 3 years or so.

Also, some of them will pay money, but you have to sign up for 'free' offers. The 'free' offers ask for credit card info and they are banking on the fact that you will forget to cancel the offer once the 'free trial' is over.

Don't do it.

Extra pocket money? Bag groceries on the weekend. Yardwork. Home PC repair. Chauffering the elderly. Tear tickets at a movie theater.

Grocery stores are always looking for help.
posted by pieoverdone at 5:45 PM on June 25, 2008 [1 favorite]

If you have to ask ...
posted by zippy at 5:47 PM on June 25, 2008

yup, they're scams. You'll end up spending a lot more than you make.
posted by Mr_Chips at 5:54 PM on June 25, 2008

Both of those sites list among thier primary features how you can get paid more if only you get your friends involved.

This is also a primary feature of a pyramid scheme.

I don't know the details, but my first thought on looking at these sites was click fraud.

You're only a sucker if you let them sucker you.
posted by Ookseer at 5:56 PM on June 25, 2008

IMHO you're a sucker. You can 'make' a lot more by simply cutting-out unnecessary expenses. e.g. paying $60/month for a phone landline so that telemarketers can annoy you as you eat dinner. Get a pay-as-you-go cellphone instead. Paying $400/month on a car loan, ditch it and get a beater (which will probably be better on gas anyway). If you have credit cards, it's worth the call to see about getting a lower rate. If they won't comply, look at transferring the balances to a credit line. Do you have any freelance-able skills that you could do from home. Lots of options out there that are less sketchy than 'make money in your free time!'
posted by hungrysquirrels at 6:01 PM on June 25, 2008

I delinked the sites; they're super-sketchy and really don't need traffic.

Yes, they're scams. No, you won't make any worthwhile amount of money. Affiliate schemes work out, if at all, for the people who get on the boat early. By the time those people have later adopters shilling it to you you're boned.

If it helps underscore the only-the-folks-at-the-top-win point, both of those sites (and likely a number of others) lead back to the same group, here:

If you want to make some scratch, consider just getting a short-term part time job. Even at minimum wage, you'll make better money, you'll know it's not a scam, and you won't be perpetuating a fundamentally broken and skeezy business model.
posted by cortex at 6:07 PM on June 25, 2008

Thanks guys. I figured as much.

And I do have an extra job and am cutting expenses.
posted by LiveToEat at 6:38 PM on June 25, 2008

If you want, I can MeMail you the info for some (legit) survey sites I play around with during downtime at work sometimes.

You won't make much money - a couple bucks here and there, which may not be worth giving away personal info. I skip the surveys that ask for anything really personal, but hey, I'll give opinions on food products all day long. They can be an interesting little break here and there, but I wouldn't call them equivalent to like a part time job or anything.
posted by KAS at 6:43 PM on June 25, 2008 has technology related surveys. It takes me about six months to earn 50 bucks (you cash out 1,000 points at a time). I've only had to give away work related information, and even that was vague.
posted by lysdexic at 7:19 PM on June 25, 2008

Mechanical Turk is legitimate. I make 20 bucks or so a week with only a little effort. At one point I was typing a lot of podcast transcripts and making about 100 bucks a week. You're not going to get rich doing this but at least it's not a ripoff.
posted by Melsky at 7:31 PM on June 25, 2008

link: Mechanical Turk
posted by Melsky at 7:32 PM on June 25, 2008

I know people that have made decent money writing articles for eHow. You get paid a share of the ad revenue that gets generated for your article. Haven't heard anything about it that doesn't seem legit.
posted by stovenator at 7:53 PM on June 25, 2008 [1 favorite]

As a rule I don't trust anyone that has txt speak in their business name...

And anything that waves "lots of easy money" around like bait... is always some kind of trap.
posted by mu~ha~ha~ha~har at 8:13 PM on June 25, 2008

I signed up for hits4pay about 3 years ago. I think I am up to $18.00 but they don't send you a check until you hit $25. It's not worth it!
posted by Ostara at 8:52 PM on June 25, 2008

I used to make fair good pocket money on Google Answers - I still get a residual on all ads displayed on my answers, which is about $15/mth... I've never found anything else that appealed as much. Mechanical Turk is an alright idea, but seems to require a fair amount of effort for relatively little reward, normally.
posted by sycophant at 1:32 AM on June 26, 2008

For what its worth, I love the idea of Mechanical Turk and would love to find ways to leverage its use for my business.
posted by neilkod at 10:46 AM on June 26, 2008

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